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Sprawling brick star planned as memorial to honor region's veterans

Efforts have started to honor all of Western New York's military veterans with a sprawling five-point star beside the Marion J. Fricano Memorial Town Park in North Collins.

"This tribute will consist of a five-point star over 100-feet wide, with each point of the star highlighted by a flag of its associated branch of military service," said Neil I. Ross, a spokesman for the North Collins Veterans Tribute, which is sponsoring the project and raising money for the $100,000 project.

The star will be with more than 12,000 bricks, and those who want to honor a veteran can purchase a brick for $100 to $200, and a name and rank will be engraved. Cost depends on the size of the brick.

Businesses that donate more than $500 will have the names of their companies featured on bricks placed in a walkway leading to the star.

"At the center of the star, there will be a beautiful a 5-foot by 4-foot wide black granite V structure depicting open palms with an eternal flame and the American flag," said Ross, a retired Navy senior chief petty officer.

A Gold Star Family Members Memorial is also planned for the site, he said.

"The magnitude of this project will take some time to complete and donations are already pouring in from Erie County government, town and village governments, local businesses, family farms, veteran groups and concerned philanthropists," Ross said.

Arrangements to purchase a brick or provide a donation can be made at the organization's GoFundMe site or by emailing Ross at


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